Actors Michelle Pfeiffer and Angelina Jolie look at each other during the European premiere of 'Maleficent: Mistress of Evil' in Rome, Italy, on October 7, 2019. (REUTERS/Yara Nardi)
The sequel to Walt Disney Co's 2014 hit Maleficent, which begins rolling out in global theaters on Wednesday, puts three women at the center of a fight for control between humans and fairies.
Angelina Jolie stars in Maleficent: Mistress of Evil as the titular villain and dark fairy godmother to Aurora, the queen of the fairies played by Elle Fanning.
When Aurora becomes engaged to the human Prince Phillip, the pending marriage brings Maleficent in conflict with Aurora's future mother-in-law, Queen Ingrith, who is played by Michelle Pfeiffer.
It is the rare Hollywood movie where men are in secondary roles. "They're just not the focus" in this film, Pfeiffer told Reuters in an interview.
Chiwetel Ejiofor, in the role of a mysterious figure named Conall, said the movie plays with many of the traditional narratives typical to fairy tales.
"There's like 100 tropes that are exploded in this film," Ejiofor said. "Seeing those explored in different ways, I think is very exciting."
The sequel reflects the message of the original, which urged people not to judge a book by its cover or to attach labels to others that ostracize them.
The sequel amplifies the look with more fantastical creatures and more intricate costumes.
"You try that little bit harder to say 'We've got to give them something better or we've got to give them something a little more fun," said Jolie, who also acted as a producer of the film, "or this would make a better Halloween costume for the kids."
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